A Minimum Wage Meeting in Mountain View, California

In September 8, 2014, the Mountain View City Council held a hearing where citizens could talk about their views on a proposed draft ordinance to adopt a city minimum wage of $10.15 per hour and to include an annual adjustment for inflation. The proposed draft is modeled after San Jose’s minimum wage ordinance and the rate will adjust by an amount corresponding to the prior year’s Consumer Price Index. I went to the meeting to talk to other activists and to listen to what the citizens had to say for the City Council panel.

Most of the people who spoke were residents of Mountain View, although there was one person who represented WalMart workers who wanted to show his support for what these people are doing. I learned a lot from listening to them. That’s one of the reasons I attend these events. The speakers thanked the council for giving citizens a forum to speak their views. They told their own stories about their struggles paying the rent and buying the basic necessities on a minimum wage salary in Mountain View.

The activists who supported an increase in the minimum wage were prepared with information to try to convince the City Council. They had done a poll of Mountain View business owners and found that over 70% of the business owners favored an increase in the minimum wage. They cited the fact that when nearby city San Jose increased its minimum wage, business actually increased in the city. They seemed well prepared to answer any worries that anyone may have about possible consequences of raising the minimum wage.
Since the Congress seems to be in gridlock, many activists have turned to state and city governments to try to get action on issues like raising the minimum wage, climate change, immigrant rights and other issues. I think they’re doing a smart thing. While I was there I met some friends whom I hadn’t seen in a few years. I had a good time talking to them and catching up on our lives.

Here are some photos I took of the meeting.

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About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He does a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippines Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since March 2013, he has also contributed cartoons to the Manila Mail, a Filipino American newspaper based in Washington D.C. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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